Sunday, May 29, 2011

Flea Market Finds

It seems as the weather gets colder it is harder to find the motivation to step out of a cosy, warm house. Still, there is thrifting to be done so like all stalwart Treasure Hunters, I soldiered on! This week I discovered - to my surprise - that I have a penchant for angels, or more precisely images of angels. I only brought one home with me but I was tempted by several others.

I think the real appeal of this picture is in fact the foil cake paper that has been used on the frame - very inventive and adding just that bit of glitz don't you think?!

... and doesn't she have a serene face - so kindly even when dealing with marauding children rampaging through fragile ecosystems - gotta admire that! I also found a rusty lotus-shaped votive holder - I think it might find its way into a shrine of some sort.

 I also recycled some op-shopped t-shirts into necklaces.

These are definitely "site specific" pieces - they look so great on an actual body but a bit dodgy just sitting around. For a sqizz at what has been going on in the world of thrifting, head  over to Sophie's.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Flea Market Finds

 There wasn't a whole lot of thrifting happening around here this week I'm afraid.I did find this patterned Japanese mug on Saturday though.

 It is really textured and detailed.

It inspired me to get out my carving tools and make some new stamps.

I haven't done this for quite a while - it was fun to revisit carving and I love the results ...

If you visit Sophie you will be able to see all the stuff people have collected along their thrifting journeys this week.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Cardi lives on!

A while back, I purchased three cardigans from the 50 cent rack at a local oppie. None of them were appropriate sizes/colours or styles that would suit any of my mob but they did have rather delicious buttons. Once home, I did indeed pluck off said buttons but I was feeling a tad guilty about returning them to the oppie sans closures - it was a dilemma indeed! "So", I hear you ask, "how did you solve that dilemma and keep the guilt demon at bay Sue?" . Well, in a moment of remarkable clarity and channeling my inner Ikea-ness, I decided to whip up some Wintery cushion covers. Of course I hadn't reckoned with the truculent attitude of the knitwear and their apparent reluctance to be cut up. Slippery, stretchy and generally uncooperative, it was a bit more effort than a simple "whip up". However, I did persist and here are the rewards of my efforts.

I need to add some decorative stitching to a couple of them but overall I am sure you get the idea!

The light green is rather more green than the photo shows, and the olive is - well - more olivey. They are super snuggly and cosy. As for the buttons - I used them up too ...

I manage to squeeze out a necklace and a bracelet from 2 sets and made a brooch from the lovely big red one - that is for me!

I made pewter discs and stamped them to create a kinda pod-like effect.

I also used up one of my lovely metal buttons as a closure on the bracelet. All in all, I think it was  $1.50 and a couple of hours well spent - don't you?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Whinge alert!

I have been flogging my poor brain senseless trying to write an essay and am beginning to think (with the three or four brain cells that remain undamaged by the utter boredom that is in text bloody referencing) that a formal arts education could well see all my creativity fly out the window - or maybe just seep through the floor boards! Whinge, whinge, moan moan ... In order to reassure myself that all is not lost I fished out my latest castings and imagined what I might make with them.

They look a bit motley at the moment but I think most of them should come up ok.

See that bunny there - I think he will be a component in my 'Alice Range' ! Oh I really do have to get all this wretched theory work out of the way so I can get back to my bench. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Flea Market Finds

Along with all the other folks over at Sophie's, I am showing off my op shop treasures today. I have been hunting with some purpose recently as I am looking for jewellery making materials for an exhibition. It is amazing what you can say "no" to when you are on a mission!

It seems everything this week is rather 'pretty'. The tins I plan to cut up - probably for brooches - although those funny sun faces might make interesting "cameos". The plates too will be smashed and shaped into ear-rings and a bracelet. I plan to cut up the doiley into individual motifs and make them into pendant type thingos. The fur you can just see under the doiley is a collar of what I think is kangaroo fur. Now I don't want to freak anyone out but don't you think it would be cool to make some  Victorian style "mourning" jewellery with the fur instead of human hair? The record at the back is old - and really thick - it will become a neckpiece I think.  So, that is a "real" use for just about all of it. Ok so the kitties were just cutely kitsch and I couldn't resist them! The book has some great diagrams and pictures.

And to think that I have been labouring under the misapprehension that thought Jethro Tull was a band  (remember Thick as a Brick?). Apparently he was an English agriculturalist long before Ian Anderson and the boys got together! Anyhoo - it is a cool diagram of a rather clever invention!

I have to 'fess up that along with the kitties and the book, I had one other "unecessary" purchase ...

... but they are so pretty! And for those of you too young to remember Jethro Tull or old enough to enjoy being reminded ...


Thursday, May 12, 2011

All in a days work ...

Well, despite strange visitations from the ether, I have had a decently productive day and have completed one whole piece for SALA. yay!  I am making small "ranges" for this show and this one will belong to the "Alice etal" group.

I have topped a brass cuff with some etched copper and added some charms.

I cut the heart from copper and enameled it. It is a bit hard to see, but I am really pleased with the forged ring that the charms hang from. It is iron wire and I have riveted it so it is good and strong. I was hoping to achieve a sort of door-knocker feel 'cos doors and Alice just seem to go together don't they?

The Alice charm is made from two teaspoons, the image comes from the classic book - a copy though - and I have used mica to protect it. That dear little key was a recent find at my favourite antique store here in the Barossa.  This is the first time I have made a metal cuff and I did learn quite a bit. Also it is the first time I have attempted that slit- kind- of -fastening- thingo so it was a big day all round! I am hoping to achieve a kind of narrative with this lot of jewellery, something a bit poetic perhaps - well at the very least it's gotta be pretty!

Mysterious mysteries!

Today I am bashing away in my little workroom - nose firmly to the grindstone as it were. When I do this I often make a playlist for the day and it plays over and over - and over. Since I choose fairly innocuous songs they don't get annoying. Just now something weird happened. I had this overwhelming desire to hear Michael Jackson singing "Man in the Mirror". Now as a rule I am not given to hysterical experiences but I couldn't ignore this - so it was off to Google land for a quick YouTube hit - and now here it is for you too.

The Universe and MJ work in mysterious ways!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Getting on with it!

So what has been stopping me from getting to work on some gear for an exhibition in August? Could it be the looming deadlines for Uni assignments? Perhaps it is the challenge of getting out of bed now the mornings are cold and dark?
Of course I have been enjoying the company of dear friends lately ... Maybe I have just been doo-lallying about or worse still, procrastinating! Valid as all these reasons might seem, I had a sudden revelation last night  - in a flash of brilliant clarity the reason for my lack of progress was startlingly clear - I DON"T HAVE A NICE JOURNAL! Doh - it should have been obvious some time ago that one must have a suitable receptacle for one's ideas and designs. So, it was full steam ahead last night and I whipped up a decent sort of cover for the only journal (not in use) that was lurking in my work room .... 

An assortment of odd bits gleaned from the fabric cupboard - I see a bit of a bandanna in there along with a shirt I got from the oppie that the ManBeast declared too "girlie" to wear - that's the small roses on a cream background - pfft - too girlie indeed!

 This is a bit of a woven placemat thing - I remember buying it for the graphic without any real intention for it's use and now here it is, gracing the front of my new art journal - which just goes to prove that covetting interesting fabric and hoarding it is in fact a perfectly sensible thing to do.

And now, the process begins ...

  Wish me luck ...

Sunday, May 8, 2011


The latest work from South Australian artist Audrey Harnett is an amalgamation of "memento mori" and the heartfelt nostalgia of Victorian mourning jewellery and I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek - so of course I had to share it with you! This beautiful shrine is dedicated to the passage of time and the natural states of change and decay that passage renders.

Constructed entirely of found objects gleaned from the beaches and bushland of Kangaroo Island the shrine is also a celebration of love - and  loss - as part of the Natural Order.

The exterior of the shrine is adorned with vintage sheet music and Audrey's screen and relief print images of birds - the symbol of the supernatural link between the heavens and the earth.

Below is the detail of an image Audrey has etched onto copper and attatched to the shrine.

As intriguing as a cabinet of curiousity  the shrine begs to be opened ...

When the contents are revealed we find -

- bones and tin and pieces of driftwood hand-carved into beautiful organic heart shapes arranged in a manner that invites us to contemplate our own mortality and the beauty of life.

I once read somewhere that Joseph Cornell was an alchemist -  collecting and arranging found objects to create stories about things we cannot see like memories, ideas and feelings, out of things we can see and are often quite familiar with. I think Audrey is weaving her own magic for us with this visual poem - don't you?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Creative Space

Joining all the other creatives over at Kirsty's today. At the moment my creative space is all about butterflies ...

All in various stages of completion. All made of "found" or reclaimed materials. All need to be finished soon - ish!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Flea Market Finds

Earlier this week my eldest daughter and I had a little oppie outing. She picked up these boots for just four bucks!

They are quite nice and looked like they hadn't been worn. When we got them home, it became apparent that my girl had some plans for them ...

Hhmmm - out came the studs and hammer - she enlisted her Dad for help with making holes and before we knew it - voila! Much punkier but I am afraid she still wasn't satisfied ...

We made some leather tassels to dangle from the back of the ankle and added half a zip around the top edge to complete the look.

And there you have it - a complete restyling and a much edgier look. She wore them on Friday night for her birthday dinner and combined with her leopard print stockings and LBD, looked a million bucks. See, a little imagination (and access to tools and stuff) goes a long way! Head over to Sophie's to see what treasures others have unearthed at the oppies this week.